French court looms for Gal­liano

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

JOHN Gal­liano is to ap­pear be­fore a Paris court on al­le­ga­tions of anti-Semitism, pros­e­cu­tors said on Wed­nes­day as the su­per­star de­signer apol­o­gised for a drunken tirade but de­nied the charges against him.

The case will be heard within months and, if found guilty, the cou­turier – who was sacked on Tues­day by the fash­ion house Dior – could face a sen­tence of six months in jail and a fine of $ A30,000.

‘‘ John Gal­liano will be pros­e­cuted . . . be­fore the crim­i­nal court for pub­lic in­sults to­wards an in­di­vid­ual on grounds of their ori­gin or re­li­gion . . . fol­low­ing com­plaints from three peo­ple,’’ the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said.

The Bri­tish de­signer was ar­rested last Thurs­day night in a drunken state af­ter a cou­ple in a cafe in Paris’ fash­ion­able and his­tor­i­cally Jewish Marais district al­leged he had sub­jected them to a stream of anti-semitic abuse.

Since then an­other woman has come for­ward to say she suf­fered a sim­i­lar at­tack in Oc­to­ber last year and a video has sur­faced of Gal­liano in­sult­ing some­one else in the same bar and declar­ing ‘ ‘ I l ove Hitler.’’

On Wed­nes­day he is­sued an apol­ogy for his be­hav­iour, but in­sisted it was not anti-Semitic. He has lodged a counter - com­plaint against the cou­ple from the in­ci­dent on Thurs­day, al­leg­ing defama­tion.

‘‘ I com­pletely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-op­er­ated with the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’’ said the flam­boy­ant cou­turier, who is con­sid­ered one of the finest fash­ion de­sign­ers of his gen­er­a­tion.

‘‘ Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our so­ci­ety,’’ he said, in a state­ment is­sued by Lon­don lawyers Har­bot­tle and Lewis.

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